1071. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [25 May 1805]
1071. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [25 May 1805] *
The inclosed being with its inclosure wholly de le mea,  – ergo I do not pay the postage under your favour.
My first impulse upon reading Gobwins  Gobwinianism was to write him a cutting reply  – but it was <not> worth the half hours cost of time. He is a great fool – for – in the first place he can have no proof that I am the offender sufficient to authorize his epistle – secondly he is a fool to suppose that because I meet him once in two or three years at dinner at Carlisles that I am bound not to say what I think of his books – & thirdly he is a damned fool to suppose it is lawful for him to abuse me verbatim (as in the memorable evening with Coleridge at Lambs). & not for me to retaliate literatum. – His indignant eye which he talks of, gives a hint for a fine caricature – the eye of indignation in spectacles!
I neither am <going> nor have ever designed to go to Bristol. Danvers is coming here – & that may perhaps be the cause of the mistake. – I have been idle for some days from indisposition & still continue ailing. my chance of seeing London this year is so compleatly over that I must send for a few books ere long – sorely against my will.
Jeremy Bentham certainly had a parl. report about his Pantopticon – for in some such folio foolscap size & such House of Commons-type did Wynn show it me – but it is some years old, & so I suppose gone the way of all such proceedings. 
* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ May 25. 1805
MS: Huntington Library, RS 74. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: Southey dates the letter ‘Saturday’ and 25 May was a Saturday in 1805. BACK
 Southey’s habitual misspelling of William Godwin’s name was meant to suggest his mouthiness. BACK
 For the text of Godwin’s letter, see Southey to John Rickman, 18 May 1805, Letter 1067, note 1. BACK
 In his 18 May letter (Letter 1067) Southey had asked Rickman, as secretary to the Speaker of the House of Commons, to procure a report on the Panopticon prison scheme of Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832; DNB). The scheme was discussed in parliament and a bill passed in 1794 providing for the building of a penitentiary at Battersea, London. In 1798, with the building delayed, a committee of the House of Commons issued a favourable report on Bentham’s scheme. The discussions are reported in the Journals of the House of Commons, XLIV, 633–634. BACK